(I wrote this flippant piece back in December 2011 but didn’t post it for some reason. But what else am I going to do with it? It’s just been staring back at me from the Drafts folder for the last fourteen months…so here you are.)
I sat down at the computer last night for some laid-back Sunday evening blogging. Before getting started, I took a moment to input recent eats into LoseIt.com. Peanut butter Twix bars weren’t already in LoseIt’s database, so I headed over to the Twix website for nutrition data.
The page I landed on had some flash video thing called “Twix Presents: Get the Girl (An Interactive Love Story, Sort Of).” Underneath the flash window it said, “Help our guy get past Bruce, François, and his own big mouth to win over Deborah.” Hey, that’s my name! I thought. I like games. I’ll take a moment to see what this is about.
Your goal in the game is to help the jerkface boy try to win (have sex with) the smart and socially conscious girl he meets at the party, using lies. The video pauses at four different points to ask you to choose what the guy’s going to do next. I played through a few times to see the different outcomes and my head went all asplodey. So instead of working on the weighty and important issue I was originally going to write about, I decided to share the idiocy of that Twix piece of marketing. Hey, it was the weekend, I had a lazy break playing Chrono Trigger, and I felt like writing something fun. I’ll write that other thing up soon. Promise.
You may be familiar with this already—the first part of the story was a TV commercial a few years ago. (The entire saga can be experienced on YouTube.)
Our story begins at a party in uptown Manhattan, where our dude is in the middle of a conversation with the hottie, Deborah. Apparently she’s smart too, but we quickly learn that that’s not why he’s talking to her.
Woman: And frankly, I just feel like most politicians are completely out of touch with 99% of society, you know?
Dude: Yeah, and it’s like…
Woman: You said it! Finally someone who shares my struggle!
Dude: I know, right? Do you wanna go to my apartment?
Woman: [surprised] What?
Woman: [arms crossed] What kind of girl do you think I am?
Dude obviously Needs A Moment, so he pulls out a Twix bar and takes a bite as you’re asked: What should he do next? Options are be shallow, or be deep.
If you pick “shallow,” he tells her he thinks she’s really sexy “like the captain of the S.S. Sexy.” This guy is a smooth operator. She slaps him and leaves.
Instead, he should Be Deep. (Should have been called “Be Derp,” as it’s completely inane.)
Dude: [with false sincerity] I thought you were a believer, someone who’d want to blog about our ideals. But…
Deborah: Oh, blogging! I love blogging!
They walk off together, which is totally realistic, as bloggers are always looking for excuses to go blog together with people they just met at a party. Yep. They just love blogging in pairs.
On to Scenario Two: They run into her (apparently gay) friend Bruce, who Deborah invites along for their new potential ménage-à-blog. She actually says, “Hey! We’re about to go to his apartment and blog together about the media and society’s ills. Want to join us so all three of us can blog?” Of course, Dude whips out a Twix bar to pause time and consider the options: Be mean to Bruce, or kill him with kindness.
If you choose to be mean, Bruce suffers from some kind of flamboyant panic attack and the hottie is done with Dude. “Killing him with kindness” apparently means “giving him the Macho Deathgrip Handshake,” which drives him away and leaves the two of them to continue on to the apartment.
Scenario Three: On the street, they run into Deborah’s old lover François, who is a total jerk to her as well. He even shows her a picture of his new lover and tells her how jealous and sad she must be that she’s no longer with “The François.” Seriously. She sputters and looks to Dude for help because she can’t handle her own shit, so Dude PULLS OUT ANOTHER TWIX BAR to decide which to do: Get involved, or don’t get involved. This is the worst Choose Your Own Adventure story ever.
If you don’t get involved, she fumes and storms off before running after François calling his name. Uhh, because hotties like jerks?
“Getting involved” means making fun of his beret. (Of course he’s wearing a beret. He’s French.) Dude says, “Maybe it’s your awesome hat that’s making her sad.” Har har har, good one, bro! She smirks at François and puts her arm in Dude’s as they brush past and walk off, leaving a sad François behind them to question his own pathetic existence or something.
Scenario Four is the one that pushed me to write this. URG. Here they’re entering his apartment:
Dude: [lying, obviously] Yeah, this is just my uptown apartment. My downtown apartment is still being renovated to go green. Yeah, I’m pretty into the environment.
Deborah: Wow. [Looks around, makes disgusted face at mess.] Ah. So, uh…where do we log on?
Dude’s face is all, “Oh crap! She doesn’t realize yet that I’m just lying to get into her pants!” So he bites into another Twix Of Time to consider his options: Be honest, or keep up the charade.
If you pick Honest, you’ve made the WRONG CHOICE and he fails in his mission. She Tasers him (sort of) and leaves. (It’s more of a stun prod.)
If he keeps up the charade:
Dude: Oh no!
Dude: [sounding fake as shit] My computer is gone! What kind of criminal would do such a thing!
Deborah: And then completely trash your place!
Dude: Uh, yeah, that too!
Deborah: Oh, you poor thing…Gosh, just, just think like an hour ago, this place was crawling with criminals! It’s just, that’s so dangerous! So…sexy… [walks her fingers up his chest]
[Cue romantic music.]
Screen: You’ve chewed it over successfully. Twix® salutes you.
Okay, what? What happened? I recognize that I might not be very experienced with how casual relationships go, but really? He lied successfully all night, and now she’s turned on by the fact that his apartment just got broken into. For that, Twix salutes you. There’s your “interactive love story.”
Some products, like Yoplait, Jergens, and Dove Chocolate, are obviously marketed to women. Some, like Slim Jim and Mountain Dew, are marketed to men. I don’t know why Twix feels the need to hit the Axe Body Spray jerkographic.
Ah, Twix. Your bro-focused heteronormative jerk-centric marketing campaign was something I was happy to pay no attention to, much like the culture represented in beer or cigarette ads in magazines, because I love your sweet, sweet caramel on cookie wrapped in smooth chocolate. But c’mon, what are you doing with these commercials? I don’t want to hate you, but you’re really starting to look like asshole-man-bars that come two to a pack.
“Need a moment to figure out how to be a jackass to the woman in your life? Chew it over with Twix.”
Although…it would be cool if we could tell how much of an asshole someone is by how many Twix bars they’re carrying…